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Breadlovers’ Paris: Our Top Picks in Montmartre’s Abbesses ‘Hood

Jonathan Pielmayer

If you ask any Montmartrois what the neighborhood is famous for these days, most likely their response will be “bread.” Some locals attribute the quality of the water in the Butte Montmartre for baguettes that are regularly rated among the best in the capital. Others, more pragmatically, point out that this is a rare arrondissement where ambitious artisanal boulangers can find the perfect combination of lower rent and carb-loving customers.

Here are four of the best boulangeries in the Abbesses area.Philippe Ramakers

Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | No Comments »

A Francophile Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway From the Paris Print Shop

Holiday Gift Guide, HiP Paris Blog

Salted Caramel Macarons from La Petite Sucre

It’s that time of year again! The time of aimless meandering through crowded streets or malls, searching for the perfect gift for that special someone. To make it a little bit easier for you, Nichole Robertson has put together a sweet little francophile gift guide. She is also offering up three great gift packages for three lucky readers: each winner will receive one extra-large print of your choice from the Paris Print Shop, a 2014 Paris calendar, and a set of four cards from the Paris Traveler Series! Instructions for entering are at the bottom of the post. Good luck! -Genevieve

Update: Congrats to our winners Adelle in Vermont, Jacqueline in Maine, and Chris in West Virginia!

I’m Nichole. I’m a writer, photographer and co-owner of an NYC metro-based creative studio, Obvious State. The focus of my work for the past few years has been Paris photography, so I spend a lot of time traveling back and forth (and staying in Haven in Paris apartments, which is how I met the lovely HIP staff).

Holiday Gift Guide, HiP Paris Blog, Print by Nichole Robertson

Extra large print from the Paris Print Shop by Nichole Robertson

I spent about two months this year working on The Paris Journal and my second book with Chronicle Books, which means I was able to frequently satisfy my own Francophile urges: Bordier butter, Laurent Dubois cheese, La Fermière yogurt and baguettes. Many, many baguettes.

Holiday Gift Guide, HiP Paris Blog 3

Merci stampParis street style bookpillow by Alexandra Fergusonmetro coaster by Tilissimo

You see the theme there, right? French dairy and bread. Not exactly giftable, or available in the US. Though I’ve discovered that you can buy Échiré butter here and on Amazon, and have happy danced over that discovery.

Holiday Gift Guide, HiP Paris Blog, Bags by Kasia Dietz

Bag by Kasia Dietz

So if you can’t fly your loved one to Paris this year, I put together a few things for that favorite Francophile in your life. Continue Reading »

Posted in Shopping | 106 Comments »

Falling In Love With Paris In a Day

Carin Olsson

Paris. The city of romance. With picturesque cafes on almost every corner, countless bridges crossing the Seine begging for twilight strolls and stolen glances, architecture that dazzles for days, and the omnipresent accordion harking back to sweeter, slower days, how could you not fall in love? In a day no less. And we’re not talking about the dashing young men in lively conversation over espressos. You’re falling in love with no one other than yourself. Here is our guide to romancing yourself in the city of Light.


9am. To the heart by way of the stomach. Begin your day with a croissant or pain au chocolat still warm from the oven from a local boulangerie. For the best pastries Paris has to offer, head to Le Grenier a Pain, strategically scattered throughout the city. I recommend the Montmartre location, which won the award for best baguette in 2010! Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 20 Comments »

Chic French Nibbles: Purple Macarons With a Savory Twist

Cristina Lasarte is the voice behind the gorgeous blog From Buenos Aires to Paris. Her mouthwatering photography and playful recipes, inspired by her Argentinean heritage and her new life in France, keep us coming back to her blog again and again. Here, she shares her recipe for Blue Smoked Salmon Macarons, the perfect amuse-bouche for your next elegant get-together. Enjoy! – Geneviève

It was exactly my fourth post ever…  Those who had been following my blog right from the very first day (if I did have any followers to speak of then) saw a shy Argentinean blogger producing some mauve macarons, photographed in a ring box.

The photo was picked up by Foodgawker and before I had even really understood what blogging was about, the world was looking at my blog: Singapore, Alaska, Arkansas, Russia… One thousand clicks in two hours. That was back in 2009. You can still find the recipe here, and in Audrey Hepburn’s company here.

Savory macarons are not my invention. In fact, the “father” of modern macarons, Pierre Hermé, started playing with the idea of giving traditional sweet macarons a savory twist long ago.

One day, I thought of making something elegant… Something with salmon, and something black… Yes, black macarons!

I went to G. DeTout to buy black food coloring. Back home, I started adding tiny quantities of this coloring to my Italian meringue, and it started turning…mauve. Mauve? Another half coffee spoon… deeper mauve! I paused and wondered: should I continue adding color, or stop here? I hate it when macarons dye my tongue! And this shade of mauve was so beautiful… And it matched my poppy seeds perfectly! Yes, the match was sealed.

Today, my mauve salmon macarons have become a trademark of my Menu Malbec catering service. After all this time, I decided a new photo shoot was in order. After all, two years of blogging had improved my photography skills.

I have to admit that sometimes people look at me with a skeptical eye: “Salmon in a sweet macaron? Is the crust savory at least?” Until the first bite, when all doubts vanish!

The savory macarons are here to stay… Not only with salmon, but with foie gras now as well…who could think of something more appropriate for holiday parties? Chicissime! Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, HiP Recipes | 11 Comments »

Ladurée: Parisian Macarons Land In New York

Ladurée macarons in their sleek box (Louis Beche)

For years, everyone—especially New Yorkers—has been clamoring for the death of the cupcakes. Let those pastel-colored, frosting-slathered, sprinkled-adorned, oh-so-cute sugar bombs be over! Can we puh-leeze move on?? And it would appear, with Ladurée’s arrival on Madison Avenue, New Yorkers may finally get their wish: the macaron could soon trump the cupcake as the sweet du jour.

Ladurée’s new NYC store, and its line of fans (Amy Thomas)

Of course Parisians are well acquainted with Ladurée, the 149-year-old salon de thé that purportedly invented the macaron. But with the exception of savvy New Yorkers who used to raid the Champs-Elysées store for a box of Technicolor two-bite treats, and then proudly parade their pale green shopping bags around the Upper East Side, the French brand has remained an exotic import to New Yorkers. Which explains the two-hour queues.

Ladurée macarons (Yuichi Sakuraba)

To be fair, by the time I made it to Ladurée, three weeks after it opened, the line was down to a 15-minute wait. As if I were a macaron virgin, the dauntless teenager in front of me who had previously waited hours for a Ladurée hit, told me the sweets “were totally worth the wait.” Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Travel | 15 Comments »

Paris: Plus Ça Change… the More It’s the Same

Little Brown Pen Paris restaurant sign

Little Brown Pen Paris buildingsAll photos courtesy of Little Brown Pen

When I leave Paris for extended periods of time, I’m sometimes overcome with a panicky feeling that I’m losing touch, losing ground, floating into a France-less obscurity, and that when I return, I won’t recognize the city anymore. Or worse, that it won’t recognize me.

But as soon as I come back—as I have now, for three weeks—I realize the futility of such thinking. If there is any city that is adamant about retaining its traditions, its quirks, its pace and its “sameness,” it is Paris. So I’m happy to report that the French are more or less wearing the same thing (black), eating the same things (steak frites, baguettes, macarons), waiting for the same thing (retirement) and complaining about the same things (everything).

Little Brown Pen Chairs Paris Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 17 Comments »

The Paris Effect

Merce and the Muse Paris Erica BermanMerce and the Muse – coffee and cakes – Erica Berman

Those who have lived in Paris know: we are endowed with a magical power.

Once you’ve been a Parisian (or a faux Parisian), you automatically have the ability to cast a spell over any American you subsequently encounter, simply by sprinkling key phrases into conversation:

“Well, when I lived in Paris…”
“I used to live in Paris, so…”
“In Paris (I used to live there)…”
“…reminds me a little bit of Paris, but…”

Yes, you will sound slightly (or completely) pretentious. But more importantly, you will elicit a distinct blend of jealousy and awe from whomever you are addressing, because quite simply, you have lived their dream. In fact, you have lived many an American’s dream.

One and Only Paris LoveLove along the Seine river- One and Only Paris Photography

From this side of the Atlantic, the darker realities of Parisian living (endless strikes, French bureaucracy, the exchange rate, the French attitude) cease to exist. It’s all fresh-baked baguettes and macarons and aimless strolling and sunsets over the Seine and, of course, L-O-V-E. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 26 Comments »

Foodies in Paris: Rachel Khoo, Paris by Mouth, Yelp, cupcakes & more

Rachel Khoo Foodie Event Rachel Khoo, at work

As the savory macarons (half of them, cream cheese and wasabi; half green olive tapenade) were passed around the 12th arrondissement apartment, the talk inevitably turned to food. It was a Thursday night, and I was at Rachel Khoo’s Mash Up soirée, an 80s-inspired, five-course dinner party organized through, a site that coordinates tastings, workshops and other food-centric events. Rachel, a British cookbook author, class instructor and damn good chef, along with all us foreigners (plus a few locals) in attendance were self-defined foodies, so the night was filled with many edible adventures.

By the second course (a two-toned tartiflette of root veggies, roquette and copious amounts of Reblochon, which came on the heels of, wait for it, edible pacman with pâté powerballs), I was deep in conversation with Kimberley McLoughlin, an Aussie who just launched While her site focuses on international travel, she’s also a restaurant devotée and knows the best eateries in the top culinary cities around the world. Clearly, I realized as I sipped my Tom Cruise-inspired Cocktail, I’m not the only expat in Paris who’s just a wee bit obsessed with food and eating and dinner parties and new restaurants and food porn and sweets and cooking classes and market tours and….are we full yet??

Rachel Koo Mashup Foodie Dinner ParisEdible pacman

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Posted in Food | 2 Comments »

Recipe Tip: A Decadently French Moelleux au Chocolat

This delicious recipe comes courtesy of new Hip Paris friend Cristina – cook, writer, photographer and blogger extraordinaire. Her mouth-watering blog, From Buenos Aires to Paris, grew from her desire to learn to cook like the French – which is something we can all relate to! For scrumptious recipes and inviting images all year long be sure to check out Christina’s delicious blog. Be sure to let all of us at HiP Paris know what you think of the moelleux once you have baked one!

Moelleux au Chocolat Paris Recipe

One of the things that first catches our foreign eye when we come to France, apart from the Eiffel Tower, is the moelleux au chocolat — that typical French cake, so simple, yet so decadent, moist, scrumptious …And, immediately, we come to the conclusion that such a treat must be archi-compliqué to make… It ‘s French after all !

Today, I am going to show you not only how to make a moelleux but to take it to haute-pâtisserie levels, by coating it with the most luscious mirror glaze, and to top it off, a wonderfully fresh array of berries…

What ? You believe you can’t make it ? Well, unlike most foodbloggers who admit having felt a passion for cooking since an early age, I spent all my life away from the kitchens, teaching at schools and university, until one day, destiny took me to France (Yes, we are puppets in the hands of God), and there, a new passion was born ! but since learning on my own was hard, I decided to train professionally both in Buenos Aires and in Paris : Ecole Alain Ducasse, Ecole Lenôtre, in Plaisir…internship with the famous Parisian pâtissier Gérard Mulot…

This cake is not hard to make, but the first secret to incredible taste and texture begins with top quality chocolate … here I used Vahrona  61% cacao (you can buy the 1kilo package at G. Detou – 58 rue Tiquetonne).  I would advise you chocolate no less than 55% cacao, but not too high either, since the cake might turn too bitter. Same holds good for the cocoa powder…this incredibly brilliant mirror glaze is impossible to achieve without good cocoa powder

Ok, let’s get working…here is the recipe…

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Posted in Food, HiP Recipes | 5 Comments »

Let Them Eat Cupcakes: Paris’ Best American Sweets

Little Miss CupcakeLittle Miss Cupcake

As a New Yorker, I find it equal parts utter insanity and totally logical that as soon as I moved to Paris last year—with visions of millefeuilles, pains au chocolat, artisan chocolates and good old Nutella street crepes dancing through my head—I wound up Velib’ing through the back streets of the eleventh arrondissement seeking the city’s then cupcakes-only bakery. It took a few wrong turns down some side streets, but I found Cupcakes & Co, with sunlight happily spilling across the sole café table—an auspicious signpost pointing to the delicious display case of American delights.

cupcakes-and-co-3Cupcakes & Co

Rebecca and Maggie Bellity, the two sisters who opened Cupcakes & Co in 2008, pride themselves on using natural and organic baking ingredients for their petits gateaux. And even though the concept arose from their travels to the states, their recipes are all French. They’ve dreamed up combinations like jasmine and vanilla, lemon and coconut, coffee and hazelnut and over a dozen others that set my heart racing and ensured many weeks of repeat business.

That was well over a year ago. And as my American obsession has waned (grace à new obsessions with macarons, violet éclairs and salted caramels), the Parisians’ has exploded. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 23 Comments »